punishments befitting their crime
Small and bright and beautiful; it’s all Gerard can think as he watches the boy named Francis – his own angel-boy Frank – enter the room, familiar eyes nervous and wide and vivid, skin dazzling in the brightness of the room, of the company he is in.
Throat thick as he continues to watch, he can’t help think how slight Frank is; Gerard knows this, but it seems accentuated in the brilliant room with these men dressed all in white, all staring at the boy standing before them. It’s then that Gerard really notices Frank’s lost appendages are intact – wings are folded neatly against his back – vivid white against his too pale skin. It’s distracting enough that Gerard almost misses the fact that Francis has continued moving, is standing directly before the circular table, quaking and staring and defiant.
“Francis, you are brought before the counsel today so that we might decide what is to be done with you.” Sariel speaks to the trembling angel, his own eyes dark amidst skin that seems to glow as he stands, his presence enough to trigger Gerard’s own shuddering. “Have you anything to say in your own defense?” Gerard is itching to reach out, to touch the Frank of this vision-memory, to shield him from these men with their cold stares and their accusing glares, to yell and defend the angel-boy because Frank is still standing there, wide-eyed and silent.
“I will take any punishment you see fit to bestow on me.” Gerard chokes, gaze whipping back to the small boy with the twittering wings, mystified and unbelieving; he’s been wondering for weeks what Frank’s voice would sound like, trying to judge from his laugh and the little noises that filter past those too red lips and he’s unprepared for the softness and the musical lilt.
“You understand what this means, Francis? What you’ve done?” Sariel’s eyes are hardening but Francis – Frank – holds his ground, his eyes wide in his small face still but unrelenting and unapologetic as he glances around the small table before him, everyone but Sariel still seated and staring.
“I understand.” Gerard doesn’t understand, can’t understand, has an overwhelming urge to jump through the apparition and shake Frank because surely he’s going to defend himself, going to fight for himself, isn’t he? Gerard wants to cry knowing he’s literally watching Frank give in, give up and there’s absolutely nothing he can do but continue to watch. His throat feels tight, his chest constricting and he can only vaguely feel the fallen angel’s fingertips against his temples, soft and cool against his too hot skin.
“Very well, as Head of this Counsel, I sentence you, Francis, guardian angel, to a punishment befitting your crime.” Sariel looks down at the rest of the table for a moment, eyes resting fleetingly on Hamaliel and Anael before rising to Frank’s once again. “Your wings will be removed directly following the end of the sentencing. You will then be banished and sent to spend your remaining time on Earth, amongst and as a mortal in every sense. You are forbidden from returning. Ever.” Brows furrow as Sariel seems to contemplate Frank for a moment and Gerard can’t keep his eyes from the stubbornly trembling angel. “Do you have anything you’d like to say?”
“I do not regret my decision. I believe that it is not I, but you, that has made the error. I hope that one day you can come to the same realization, but I will accept my punishment despite what I believe. It is your decision to make. I only beg once again that you spare him, that my punishment be enough to earn him reprieve.” Gerard’s sweeping his eyes over the scene again, watching the faces of the Counsel members blur until they’re just insubstantial colors; glancing back he barely has time to catch Frank’s face before it too is blurring before his eyes and the black of his eyelids is once again before him, the cool touch of Frank’s fingertips absent.
He feels sick to his stomach, feels the bile boiling and bubbling in his chest and his throat and then his mouth and there’s only enough time to turn his head before he’s dispelling it on the concrete floor beside him, choking and gasping on the bitter liquid pouring from his lips. He can feel Frank’s cool skin, soothing, rubbing through his thin t-shirt, little titters and coos making the sickness so much worse. He wants to scream, rage, anything to avenge what Frank lost because all he can see is Frank’s wings being torn from him, ripped from his trembling body as he screams at the torture and the sick is still surging.
When it feels like he’s in control again he takes a few calming breaths before spitting, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth.
“Why Frankie? Why would you do that? Who the fuck was so important that you would lose your wings for them? Surely no one was worth that!” Gerard knows his voice is too loud in the dark emptiness of the basement with the sour smell of vomit washing over them but he can’t seem to control any aspect of his body. Frank stares sadly back at him, skin seeming to dim beneath Gerard’s anger, eyes darkening enough that Gerard can see flecks of brown that didn’t seem to exist just moments before.
“Please! Answer me! I don’t understand!” There’s desperation and vitriol lacing every word, every shake of his body as he stands, towering above the angel-boy who gave up everything for someone and Gerard can’t comprehend, can’t fathom who or what could be so important, so valuable to Frank that he would give up everything, can’t imagine someone who would let him.
Frank has no words, only pictures, memories and Gerard’s had enough of those, wants something more, wants understanding and answers; Frank uses the only other form of communication he has, the only other one Gerard can relate to.
Standing, he leans into the taller boy, fingers trailing up his chest, cool skin soothing and calming a racing heart, lips open as eyes flutter shut out of instinct and for a moment they simply pass air between them, breathing in and out. And then Frank kisses him.
It’s more than every other kiss they’ve shared, better and so much worse; it answers the question that Gerard so desperately needs, the one he’s begging for and Frank grants it with a soft moan and the fisting of Gerard’s shirt.
Liquid fire is racing through Gerard’s veins, hurt and apology and bitterness chasing each other and he feels ill once more but his lips never leave the smaller boys, pressing him tight against the wall, encasing him within the confines of his body until he covers every inch. He wants to pull Frank into himself, wrap the smaller boy up inside of him so that he can keep him safe, but he just kisses him harder, groaning into his lips.
Frank’s making little noises in the back of his throat, little moans and whimpers, pressing himself against Gerard, pulling and wrenching his little fingers at the older boys shoulders and hair, unable to attain sufficient purchase; Gerard’s having a difficult time keeping himself in check with the way Frank is grabbing at him, with sounds escaping Frank’s lips as they attack his own.
Gerard slips his lips away from the angel-boys, biting briefly at his jaw before trailing kisses down his neck to his collarbone where he nips for a moment or two, causing a soft groan from Frank. It’s enough of a distraction that Gerard is able to push himself, regretfully, away from the panting creature in front of him, eyeing the undone angel with the heaving chest, the plumped lips and the wide, pleading eyes staring over at him, still against the wall he drove them against.
“Shit…” His voice is rough, breathless, as they each try to regain their breathing. “We should stop…we shouldn’t do that, I mean, I really shouldn’t be doing this…you’re a fucking angel!” Frank’s cheeks flush deep scarlet, eyes betraying his insult at Gerard’s mutterings as the dark haired artist runs a hand anxiously across his face, leaning back against the wall behind him, desperate for some space, some air that doesn’t belong to the fallen angel with his big eyes and bright velvet skin.
“I’m sorry Frankie…” He apologizes when he catches sight of the boys pained expression. “I didn’t…you-I-why would you do that?” He’s not sure what he’s referring to exactly, not sure that he’s expecting Frank to offer any sort of explanation, even if he could, but there’s a desperate need in his chest again, shaking his hands.
“Why would you give up your wings for me?”
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